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Dublin: 3°C Sunday 17 January 2021

Wayne Barnes to referee Ireland's November clash with All Blacks

Nigel Owens, Nic Berry and and Ben O’Keefe will also take charge of Ireland Tests next month.

Barnes during Ireland's Six Nations win over Scotland this year.
Barnes during Ireland's Six Nations win over Scotland this year.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

TOP-RATED ENGLISH referee Wayne Barnes has been appointed as referee for Ireland’s 17 November meeting with New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium.

The veteran official, who became a hate figure in New Zealand after the All Blacks’ 2007 World Cup exit, will hang up his whistle after next year’s World Cup.

Barnes has taken charge of All Black fixtures numerous times since, including a heavy defeat suffered by Ireland in 2010 when Jamie Heaslip was red-carded in New Plymouth. Barnes will be assisted by France’s Mathieu Raynal, FIR official Marius Mitrea and compatriot Rowan Kitt.

Joe Schmidt’s side open their four-Test November schedule in Chicago again this year, with Nigel Owens in charge of the meeting with Italy at Soldier Field. His assistants on 3 November are France’s Romaine Poite and Alexandre Ruiz. American David Ardrey will be TMO.

Ireland v Argentina on 10 November will be officiated by former Queensland Reds scrum-half Nic Berry, with countryman Angus Gardner and France’s Ludovic Cayre running the lines beneath TMO David Grashoff.

The month undoubtedly peaks with the arrival of the back-to-back world champions when Ireland can challenge for the number one world ranking, but the Test window shuts with the visit of the USA to Dublin. Kiwi Ben O’Keefe will lead a team of Nic Berry, Marius Mitrea and Wales’ Ian Davies on 24 November.

Andrew Brace Brace took charge of Connacht's landmark win away to Ulster. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

It will be a busy month for Irish officials too. Andrew Brace takes charge of Scotland v Fiji and Italy v New Zealand when he will have Sean Gallagher as assistant.

Brace will then assist John Lacey for the 1 December Barbarians-Argentina clash in Twickenham. Gallagher will also be assistant ref as Russia host Namibia and also when Canada take on Germany as part of a glut of fixtures in Marseille.

Joy Neville will run the line twice in Stade Delort where Canada meet Kenya and Hong Kong on 11 and 23 November respectively. George Clancy will be assistant ref in the southern French city for Hong Kong v Germany, Hong Kong v Kenya and Kenya v Germany.

Frank Murphy will stand opposite Barnes as assistant for Scotland’s unseasonable visit to Cardiff, with assistant roles for Italy v Georgia and Scotland v South Africa to come before he holds the whistle for Spain v Samoa in Madrid on 24 November.

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Sean Farrell

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